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Moccasin Mail

Pics from Carter Caves Primitive Encampment

Walker Party Cont.

this Laurel Fork that the party continued traveling up in the next two days.  A note of interest in the journal entry for June 21 is this, "Deer are very scarce on the Coal Land, I having seen but 4, since the 30th of April."  Just think of it, 52 days in eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia and the very      observant Dr. Thomas Walker had only seen 4 deer.  Other journal entries indicate that turkey, elk and bear were fairly abundant in the region, but deer were scarcely seen.  A clue to one of the reasons for this paucity is found in the entry for May 30th, "The Woods are burnt fresh about here and are the only fresh burnt Woods we have seen these Six Weeks."  So the nearly  ubiquitous Indian practice of burning the woods was not as frequently performed in this region.  Fresh understory vegetation is the primary deer food in spring and summer.  A densely forested area with mostly mature

really no question about which stream Dr. Walker came to on June 23.
It also appears from the journal's entry of June 26 that the party crossed Glade Creek somewhere upstream of Glade Springs.  "We crossed a Creek that we called Dismal Creek, the Banks being the worst and the Laurel the thickest I have seen.  The Land is Mountainous on the East Side of the Dismal Creek, and the Laurels end in a few miles."  The party must have crossed White Oak Mountain on June 27 when Dr. Walker wrote in his journal, "The Land is very high & we Crossed several Ridges and camped on a small Branch."  This branch may have been at the head of Madams Creek or Beech Run.
  It is unclear which stream they camped on because of the description given on the 28th, "we set off and went down the Branch we lay on to the New River, just below the mouth of Green Bryer." Beech Run empties into New River across from the lowest of four

trees is not as productive for deer as an area with mixed age stands of trees and scattered savannahs or meadows.
On the 23rd, Dr. Walker wrote, "Land continues level with Laurel and Ivy & we got to a large Creek with very high & steep Banks full of Rocks, which I Call'd Clifty Creek, the Rocks are 100 feet
perpendicular in some Places." 
The Fry-Jefferson map, which was first published soon after Walker's expedition in 1751, identified
several places with names utilized by Dr. Walker in his journal.  It
appears that Joshua Fry may have consulted with Dr. Walker to give him the most up to date geographical information for the region.  On the map Clifty Creek is shown as a tributary to New River and it is
obviously located where Piney Creek is located today. Old

land patents to veterans of Dunmore's War refer to Piney Creek as "Clifty Creek."  Dr. Walker's description of Clifty Creek fits that of Piney Creek, so there is


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